While Ben and Abigail were lying in his bed after having sex, Abigail revealed that she had made the typical New Year's resolutions -- to lose weight, eat healthier meals, and stop fighting with her brother. Abigail wondered if Ben had made any resolutions of his own. "Just one -- to tell you I love you...and tell you I plan on spending every minute I possibly can with you, all year long," Ben replied.
Touched, Abigail kissed Ben and admitted that she was a really big fan of his resolution, which was much better than the ones she had made. Ben jokingly bragged that he had already accomplished his resolution -- with plenty of time to spare. "Just so you know, Ben...I love you, too," Abigail admitted. Ben assured Abigail that she didn't have to say that just because he had, but she insisted that she had been wanting to say it for weeks but hadn't wanted to jinx things, so she had been waiting to share her feelings until she was sure he felt the same way about her.
At the Brady Pub, Kayla asked Eric for help getting her date, Bob, to loosen up. Kayla had met Bob through an online dating service, but he wasn't much of a talker, so she was afraid their first date might end up being their only date. Eric reluctantly agreed to help out while waiting for Serena to surface. When Bob returned from getting drinks at the bar, Kayla went to the ladies' restroom to look for Serena. Eric tried to strike up a conversation with Bob, but the man seemed content with giving one-word answers to every question Eric asked.
Outside, Serena mused that it was kind of pathetic that Nicole still hadn't given up on Eric, since he had clearly given up on Nicole. Serena added that Nicole had lost Eric for good and needed to face that fact. Nicole objected to the accusations and claimed that she didn't want to start the new year off on the wrong foot with Serena. "I'm sorry -- was I being impolite? To the person who broke into my hotel room and searched through my things? How 'bout this -- I'm not going to put up with any more of your stunts, Nicole, so let's just agree that we stay the hell away from each other," Serena suggested.
Nicole agreed, claiming that nothing would make her happier. Serena seemed skeptical but decided to keep her mouth shut. Nicole urged Serena to speak her mind, so Serena observed that Nicole had some serious issues. Nicole insisted that Serena didn't know a thing about her, but Serena countered that she actually knew more than she wanted to know about Nicole.
"I may not have known your face or known your name, but I've known for a long time that you are some piece of work. ... You withheld evidence that [Eric] needed because you wanted him all to yourself because you loved him oh so much. Well, I got news for ya, Nicole -- that -- that is not love. That is just you being...I guess, you -- selfish to the core," Serena argued.
Nicole insisted that Serena had no right to judge her, but Serena countered that someone needed to, since Nicole didn't seem to mind hurting others as long as she got what she wanted. Serena warned Nicole to stay away from her, adding that, for Nicole's own good, it would be best to stay away from Eric, too. "Do you ever shut the hell up? What, do you think you're so perfect --" Nicole started to respond -- just as Eric exited the pub. Eric shouted at Nicole to stop talking. "Oh, great timing, Eric. Now I assume you think everything is my fault," Nicole guessed.
Eric asked Serena to wait for him inside. After Serena left, Nicole started to preemptively defend herself. Eric wasn't sure Nicole was telling the truth, but he was sure she had invaded Serena's privacy and snooped through Serena's hotel room. Nicole insisted that she'd had her own reasons for investigating Serena that had nothing to do with Eric. When Eric challenged Nicole to name one of those reasons, she admitted that, while she had mostly just been concerned about him, she had also been suspicious of Serena, who had suddenly shown up in Salem for unknown reasons. Nicole predicted that Serena had some sort of hidden agenda.
Eric said he knew Nicole simply couldn't help herself -- when she formed a thought in her mind, she convinced herself that it had to be a good thought, because it was hers. Eric added that he didn't want Nicole to be concerned about him because she was out of his life for good. "I will never make that mistake again," Nicole quietly assured Eric before walking away.
Later, Eric walked Serena back to her hotel room. Serena and Eric agreed that it would be best to part ways for the evening, since they both knew there would be three people in the room if she invited him to stay. Eric reasoned that he and Serena both needed time to get past what Nicole had done. Eric assured Serena that he didn't want Nicole to have any part in their relationship. "My hope is this is the last time in 2015 we will ever need to talk about Nicole," Eric added, and Serena agreed. After Eric left, Serena angrily tossed her purse and coat aside before heading over to her hidden safe, retrieving a manila envelope, and checking its contents.
At the hospital, Maxine coaxed Daniel into talking about what had happened between him and the person he had originally planned to go on a date with that evening. Daniel explained that he had decided he was ready to start dating again but had later realized his intended date wasn't ready. "And, matter of fact, I don't know -- maybe -- maybe I'm not, either," Daniel added with a shrug before walking away.
Later, Nicole tracked Daniel down in a break room and asked for five minutes to try to make things right with him. Nicole admitted that she had been wrong about Eric being out of her life, since she still got a knee-jerk reaction when she saw him or heard his name, but she insisted that the encounter she'd just had with him and Serena had cured her of that problem for good. Nicole stressed that she wasn't trying to convince Daniel, since he was going to believe whatever he wanted to believe, anyway.
"But there is something else -- something that nobody gets. You know, everyone -- everyone thinks that -- that I got into Serena's life because of Eric. Okay, that is true -- partly -- but what I -- what I realized is...it's also how I feel about me. I mean, this -- this woman rolls in out of Eric's past -- you know, someone he was crazy about. Gorgeous. I mean, she's even a real journalist, not some -- some cheap-shot artist that's living on the edge, like me. And you know what you can tell? You can tell that she always does the right thing," Nicole mused.
"So, basically, Serena is this -- this good person, and I'm not, you know? And who am I kidding, because I'm never gonna be, and even when I try to be, I seem to screw everything -- never mind. I just -- I think I'm just -- I'm starting to think that maybe that's the kind of woman that you would be happy with, you know? Like you were with Jennifer. So all this -- this -- this acting out, and this obsession -- it's not just about Eric, or Serena, or Serena and Eric -- it's about you, too. ... I think I'll just always have, in the back of my mind, 'when...' -- not if, when -- '...will you meet a woman like her -- someone that is better than I am?'" Nicole tearfully concluded.
Daniel appreciated Nicole's honesty, although he admitted that she had just given him a lot to process. Daniel stressed that the issue had never been that Nicole wasn't good enough for him, because even if she weren't, it would still be up to him to decide whether to care about her -- and he wouldn't make that decision based on what other people thought about her. Before Daniel could say anything else, Maxine burst into the room and announced that he was needed in the emergency room right away. Daniel quietly wished Nicole a happy new year before walking away.
Outside the Kiriakis mansion, Brady and Melanie ended their kiss and pulled away from each other in shock. Meanwhile, Maggie and Victor opened the front door and wished the pair a happy new year. Victor started complaining about the boring party he and Maggie had just ducked out of, and he invited Brady and Melanie in for a more intimate celebration. Melanie and Brady simultaneously objected to the idea, each using work as an excuse. "Brady, why is it every time I come up with a good idea, you oppose me? It's New Year's Eve, damn it!" Victor snapped with finality before heading inside. Maggie translated that refusal apparently wasn't an option.
After supplying everyone with Champagne or sparkling cider, Victor made a toast to a new year filled with lots of happiness. Brady and Melanie sipped their respective drinks and tried to avoid eye contact with each other as Maggie questioned them about what they had done that night. Brady said he and Melanie had watched the fireworks, but Victor complained about that being old news, since that was what Brady and Melanie had been doing when Victor and Maggie had returned home. As Victor tried to probe for details about other things Brady and Melanie had done that night, Melanie received a phone call from Daniel and abruptly excused herself to answer it.
After Melanie left, Maggie observed that Melanie seemed a little jumpy. "A little? You're both acting like two squirrels in a bag. What the hell's going on with you two?" Victor asked Brady. Brady vaguely replied that something had happened earlier that night that had surprised him and Melanie. Maggie was pleased to learn that Melanie wasn't upset with Brady, as he had previously feared. Confused, Victor wondered why Melanie would have been upset with Brady in the first place.
Before Brady could respond, Melanie rejoined the group. "Melanie, help me out here. What the hell's going on between you and Brady?" Victor demanded to know. Melanie nervously sipped her Champagne before suggesting to Brady that it would probably be best for them to go ahead and tell Victor and Maggie what was really going on. As Brady shot Melanie a look of confusion, she explained that she had gotten into a fight with her father earlier and had confided in Brady afterward. After assuring Maggie and Victor that everything had been sorted out, Melanie excused herself because she had an early shift at the hospital the following day.
Melanie had planned to call for a taxi, but Brady insisted on taking her home himself. When they arrived at Daniel's apartment, Brady apologized to Melanie for kissing her earlier. Melanie admitted that the kiss had surprised her, but she insisted that Brady didn't have to beat himself up about it, since she had kissed him back. Melanie and Brady agreed that they had only kissed because they had gotten caught up in the moment, and they promised to forget all about it -- but when they parted ways after an awkward goodbye, it was clear that neither had forgotten yet.
In a secluded section of Horton Town Square, Sonny thought about Paul's recent declaration that he still loved Sonny and was finally ready to be in the kind of open relationship Sonny had always wanted to be in. Sonny's thoughts soon drifted to Paul's offer to help cover the cost of the new club. "Might as well do it in person," Sonny muttered, putting away his cell phone after remembering that Paul had mentioned staying at the Salem Inn.
Paul's cell phone started ringing while he and Will were inches apart, eyes locked on each other. "Aren't you gonna get that? Could be important," Will pointed out. Paul stayed focused on Will for a few seconds longer before reluctantly turning to answer the call. After ending a brief conversation with his mother, Paul turned his attention back to Will. "So...where were we?" Paul asked as he approached Will again.
Will cleared his throat and wondered if Ms. Narita knew the bad news about Paul's arm yet. Paul said he wanted to wait until after the holidays to tell his mother, since he was sure the information would sadden and disappoint her. Paul explained that his mother knew him well enough to know that baseball was all he had ever lived for. Paul recalled that he had been hooked on the sport from the moment he had played Little League as a six-year-old. Paul refilled Will's champagne glass as Will suggested that it might be time for Paul to try something new. "It is. It is time to try something new," Paul agreed as he gazed intently at Will.
Meanwhile, Sonny approached Paul's hotel room. "Excuse me, sir -- I wouldn't do that. ... I don't think he wants to be disturbed. He's with someone," Derrick explained before Sonny could knock on the door. Derrick wondered if Sonny was a friend of Paul's. "Used to be, yeah. Are you a friend of his?" Sonny wondered as he sized up the bellhop.
"I wanna be, uh, but it looks like somebody beat me to it. Guess that means you and I are friendless tonight. I finish up here in about an hour. Maybe we could have a drink," Derrick flirtatiously suggested. Sonny declined the offer and left after also declining to leave a message for Paul. Sonny returned home and poured a glass of Champagne for himself. "Here's to losin' everything. Great job, Kiriakis," Sonny bitterly muttered before draining the glass in one gulp.
Will sidestepped Paul and tried to keep the pitcher focused on their conversation. Will wondered if Paul had ever, in a quiet moment away from the game, thought about doing other things. Paul turned the question back around on Will instead of answering it. Will admitted that he might be interested in writing a book one day, if he ever thought of something to say. Paul didn't seem satisfied with the answer, pointing out that Will had just picked another form of writing as a fallback option.
Will conceded the point but wanted to keep the discussion focused on Paul. Recalling that Paul had previously stated that the demanding and hectic baseball schedule had made it difficult to maintain a serious romantic relationship with anyone, Will pointed out that the bright side of a career change would be that Paul would finally be able to settle down and start a family. "Is that what you think I want, Will?" Paul wondered.
Will said he had no idea what Paul wanted. "Too bad. Thought that you might be able to help me out," Paul somewhat suggestively replied. Will remained silent, so Paul cracked a smile and pretended he had been kidding around because he was sick of feeling gloomy all the time. Will agreed that humor was a good thing, and Paul jokingly contemplated a future in stand-up comedy.
Will glanced at his watch, and Paul noticed and wondered if Will had somewhere to be. Will hesitantly claimed that he didn't, but Paul assured him that they could always finish things up the following day instead. Will decided that wouldn't be necessary because he already had plenty of material for the article. "Whatever. I mean, if you don't want to talk to me anymore, it's --" Paul teasingly began, but Will interrupted and stressed that he hadn't meant that. Paul was glad to know he would be seeing more of Will, since they had spent quite a bit of time together lately.
Will cautiously sidestepped Paul again and started getting ready to leave as he assured Paul that he wasn't going anywhere, especially since he still needed to get Paul's approval on the final draft of the article. "I don't want anything in there that you don't want out there," Will explained. Paul thanked Will for meeting with him that night, admitting that he hadn't wanted to spend New Year's Eve alone. Will nodded and wished Paul a happy new year before exiting the room. Paul grinned as he watched Will shut the door.
Later, Paul went to set the champagne glasses in the hallway for someone to pick up, but Derrick was passing through at that moment, so he offered to go ahead and take them off Paul's hands. "A guy came up to see you when you were busy, but he didn't knock -- you had the do-not-disturb sign out, so... He was about your height, dark hair, decent-looking -- though I've seen better. Uh, he said you guys used to be friends," Derrick casually revealed. Paul thanked Derrick for the information and wished him a happy new year. "So Sonny came to see me," Paul happily muttered after the bellhop left.
When Will returned home, Sonny was asleep on the couch. An empty Champagne bottle was sitting on the floor, and Will picked it up and set it aside before draping a blanket over his husband. Will gently kissed Sonny's cheek and wished him a happy new year.
While Theresa napped in her apartment, she tossed and turned in her sleep as she dreamed about when she had been abducted in the park. Theresa woke with a start and wondered aloud what her dream meant. As Theresa noted aloud that she felt like something bad was going to happen, John knocked on her apartment door. Theresa was displeased to see John. John warned Theresa to steer clear of Brady. Frustrated, Theresa said that she did not care about Brady because she had moved on, and she planned to stay far away from him.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor stopped Brady on his way out the door and asked him to take a present to Melanie. Brady suggested that Victor use his messenger, but Victor insisted that he wanted Brady to deliver Maggie's present to Melanie. When Brady resisted, Victor angrily shoved the package into Brady's hands and ordered him to take the package. After Brady left, an employee called Victor to inform him about the failure of Sonny's club.
Stefano called Chad at the DiMera mansion to talk. When Chad told Stefano what he had done to ruin Rafe, Stefano chuckled and told Chad that he was proud of him. Chad assured Stefano that Rafe would not be able to work as a police offer or private investigator ever again. With a grin, Chad said that prison was a possibility. Stefano asked about Chad's efforts with Sonny.
"Total disaster. Just the way I planned it," Chad said cheerfully. "So you have Sonny Kiriakis just where you want him?" Stefano asked. "Yeah. That would be an understatement," Chad confided. When Sonny knocked on the front door, Chad hung up the phone to greet his business partner. Sonny told Chad that he had lost all the money that Chad had invested and that Sonny had also lost all the money from the bank account that he shared with Will.
Sonny explained that the building needed a whole new roof and that the expense would mean that there was no hope of a profit, since they had leased the building. Chad reminded Sonny that Henry Ford had failed many times before he had found success with his car company. Confused by Chad's story, Sonny handed Chad the papers for Club TBD. Chad refused to take the club. When Sonny asked why, Chad said that he wanted to continue the business with his friend, Sonny. Chad asked Sonny not to quit on him.
After Sonny left, Chad called Stefano to update him on the Sonny situation. Stefano said that he was impressed that Chad had neutralized Rafe and indebted a Kiriakis in one day. With a low chuckle, Stefano told Chad that it was a good idea to have leverage on people, even the people you loved.
At the pub, Aiden met with Rafe to talk about his case. Aiden informed Rafe that he had met with the district attorney, the mayor, and a representative of the governor's office. Rafe worried aloud that things looked bleak. Aiden told Rafe that at the meeting, he had explained that if they went to trial, details of the explosions in Salem would be made public and would put the story back in the headlines. Aiden had stressed that it would be a bad idea to go to trial.
With a sad smile, Aiden handed a plea agreement to Rafe. Aiden explained that there would be no prison time but that Rafe would never be able to work with the police or work as a private investigator. Relived that he would not be heading to prison, Rafe thanked Aiden for helping him and said that he was happy with the agreement.
In the town square, Kayla and Hope chatted about their New Year's Eve celebrations. Kayla lamented that her date had barely said a word, and she concluded that she would not go on any more dates with "silent Bob." When Kayla hesitantly asked Hope whether she had spent New Year's Eve with Aiden, Hope happily started to tell Kayla about her night. After a moment, Hope stopped and realized that Kayla was still leery of Aiden.
Hope defended Aiden to Kayla, and she begged Kayla to trust her judgment. Kayla said she was worried because Bree had said that Aiden had called and threatened her. Hope scoffed at the idea and argued that Bree had misconstrued the situation because she hated Aiden. When Aiden texted Hope and asked to meet, Hope asked Kayla to trust her then she left.
Hope headed for the pub to meet with Aiden. Aiden informed Hope about his meeting with Rafe. Hope was alarmed to learn that not only would Rafe not be able to work with the police but that he would not even be able to work as a security guard because no one on the police force would be allowed to write a letter of recommendation.
"Secrets have a way of coming back to bite you," Hope said. Aiden nodded then furrowed his brow. Aiden noted that Hope appeared to be preoccupied. Upset, Hope told Aiden about her conversation with Kayla. Hope asked Aiden whether he had threatened Bree. Aiden admitted that he had.
At Club TBD, Rafe walked in and purchased a cup of coffee. Jordan said hello and told Rafe that she was sorry to hear that Rafe had lost his job on the police force. When Jordan asked why, Rafe said he had screwed up and acted "above the law." With a sad smile, Jordan told Rafe that he was not a screw-up.
"I'm getting used to losing the things that are important to me," Rafe said. Jordan told Rafe that she cared about him and always would. With a nod, Rafe said he felt the same way. As Jordan mentioned Rafe's lost job, Victor overheard as he entered the club. Disgusted, Victor offered to yell at Roman. Rafe assured Victor that there was nothing Victor could do, and he thanked Victor for caring about him. When Victor asked for details, Rafe declined to talk and left.
Outside Club TBD, Sonny called Will's phone and left a voicemail. Unable to talk about the failure of the new club on a voicemail message, Sonny said that he wanted to talk about the next visit to see Gabi. Sonny walked into Club TBD, and his face fell when he saw Victor.
Seeing the look on Victor's face, Sonny asked him what he had heard. Victor asked why Sonny had not asked him for help. With a sigh, Sonny reminded Victor that he had asked for help and that Victor had turned him down, citing that the club was a bad investment. Victor said that Sonny had clearly ignored his advice. Victor asked whether Chad had attempted to take the club from Sonny, and Sonny said that Chad had refused to take the club, citing their friendship as the reason.
"I was hoping by now you'd see Chad for what he is," Victor growled. Sonny disagreed with Victor's assessment. Sonny said that Chad was his friend and that he trusted him. After talking to Victor, Sonny went outside to call Will. Will picked up the phone but told Sonny that he could not talk then hung up. Frustrated, Sonny shook his phone.
At the hospital, Melanie told Maxine that human resources had mistakenly input Melanie into the system as a freelancer, thus preventing Melanie from using her medical benefits. Maxine informed Melanie that she would have to talk to HR, but Anne was out sick. Maxine asked about Melanie's New Year's Eve, and Melanie thought about her kiss with Brady.
When Melanie asked Maxine for advice on transitioning a friendship into something more, Maxine grinned and asked for details. Melanie asked Maxine to keep the conversation just between them. Melanie confided that she was worried about her friendship with the man, and Melanie noted that she had a knack for complicating matters.
"What if you're the best thing that ever happened to him? Hmm? So what if you complicate it? That's what comes with being a life force and that's what you are. Being around you makes it almost impossible for a person to feel dead inside. Maybe that's what made this man look at you in a new way all of the sudden," Maxine advised. Maxine added that she had been friends with her husband before they had started dating.
Brady stopped by the hospital and made awkward small talk with Melanie. When Brady handed Melanie the gift from Maggie, Melanie asked Brady if the gift was about the night of their kiss. Brady said the gift was from Maggie. With a quizzical look, Brady said that he thought he and Melanie were on the same page about the kiss. Flustered, Melanie assured Brady that they were in agreement before she scurried off down the hall with a rambling excuse about providing meds to all the patients.
Brady walked over to the town square and ran into John. John informed Brady about his meeting with Theresa at her apartment. Exasperated, Brady asked John what had happened. John said that he had confronted Theresa intentionally and that he believed that Theresa would stay away from Brady. When Brady furrowed his brown in distraction, John asked what was wrong. Brady explained that he had left an envelope at the hospital and that he needed to retrieve it.
As Brady hurried away, John turned and found Victor walking through the square. John told Victor about his conversation with Theresa. Victor and John agreed that they were thankful that Theresa was out of Brady's life. Somewhere in the world, the doctor that had removed Theresa's baby thought about the operation then looked at Kristen's contact info on his cell phone.
Theresa arrived for work at the hospital, and Maxine informed her about Melanie's problems with her medical benefits. Theresa was unmoved. Annoyed, Maxine ordered Theresa to help Melanie. Maxine directed Theresa to the lounge to find Melanie. Theresa grudgingly walked down the hallway. Melanie sat on the couch in the lounge and noticed an envelope from Titan. Melanie noted that the envelope belonged to Brady, and she wondered aloud if he would return for it.
When Theresa asked who was returning, a startled Melanie shouted, "Nobody!" Theresa countered that she was only there to help Melanie, and a combative Melanie ordered Theresa to leave. Exasperated, Theresa grumbled on her way out that she was only there because Maxine had told her to go to the lounge. Melanie stopped Theresa from leaving and asked her about the benefits. Theresa explained that there was a form to fill out to change Melanie's status from freelancer to employee.
When Melanie asked for Theresa to complete the form, Theresa shrugged and said that Anne would need to do the paperwork, since she had not been trained to complete the form. Melanie leaned in close to Theresa and told her to figure out how to fill out the paperwork. As Melanie and Theresa yelled at one another, Brady stepped between the two women and ordered them to stop arguing before the situation turned physical. Melanie said that she could defend herself, but a rankled Brady ordered both women to leave the room and stay away from one another.
In a corner booth at the Brady Pub, Aiden admitted to Hope that what Kayla had asserted was true: he had threatened Bree after she'd called Hope. Hope was stunned. Aiden assured her that it wasn't what she was thinking, but he wanted to explain somewhere more private. Hope somewhat reluctantly took Aiden's hand, and the two went to the park outside Horton Square. Aiden related how he had needed to make a home for Chase after Meredith's death, but Bree had twisted and exaggerated past events in statements to the police.
Aiden continued that he'd finally had to get a restraining order against Bree and had begun putting together a case for libel. Although libel suits were usually very difficult to prove, Aiden had felt he could have won -- but he had decided not to file the suit because Chase's happiness had been far more important. Aiden had thought the best thing had been to move them away from Portland, but he would still do anything to keep Bree from ruining his life or his son's with her lies.
A few minutes later, Hope was looking at Aiden's tablet. Hope admitted, "I've only read two emails from the woman, and already I want to do a lot more than threaten her. My favorite type: a vindictive woman who can't spell." She closed the tablet, noting that after Aiden had extended an olive branch, Bree had only gotten nastier. Aiden said that after the last email, he'd wanted nothing more than to haul Bree into court, but he hadn't been able to figure out a way to make her pay without Chase getting hurt.
"I understand," Hope assured Aiden, who guessed that she had been in a similar situation with someone she'd tried to protect -- like Rafe. Aiden explained that he'd gotten the feeling that Rafe knew more about the situation with Gabi than he'd let on. "I don't need to hear anything more; all I want is for you to know I understand what it is to keep secrets because you care about someone else," Aiden said. Hope admitted, "I guess we are a lot more alike than I thought -- we thought." Aiden declared softly, "Looking out for others is just one of the things that I admire about you. That I like about you. That I love about you."
When Mandrake got a call from Kristen, he informed her that he had an update about the situation with Theresa Donovan. "Yes, Ms. DiMera, we've gone over the test results. Everything looks good. Everything is going according to plan. I've kept a close eye on Miss Donovan. She's not a problem at all," Mandrake assured Kristen.
At the hospital, after Brady intervened in Melanie and Theresa's fight, both women ordered him to leave. Bemused, Brady maintained that he had only returned to get the papers he'd forgotten. Melanie retrieved the envelope from where he'd left it. Brady explained to Melanie that he'd been worried when he'd heard the two women yelling. "You've been wrong about a few things," Melanie pointed out, and Theresa was surprised when she found herself agreeing with her adversary. Theresa added that Brady needed to leave, so with one final, astonished look over his shoulder, Brady obeyed.
A much less angry Theresa offered to go to Anne's office to look for Melanie's paperwork. They agreed to meet back in the waiting room a little later. As Melanie was heading for the door, Theresa noted that when they'd first met, before they'd discovered one another's identities, they had hit it off. Theresa suggested that they could try to get along, since they both had to work there. "And we have one thing in common," Theresa added with a smile then explained, "We both feel the same way about Brady."
Theresa explained that Brady's desires to rescue everyone were well intentioned, but he was actually "lame and useless" with regard to women. She continued that he pretended to be sensitive, but in reality, he was a very self-centered and spoiled loser. "Shut up about Brady!" Melanie interjected. She pointed out that Theresa didn't know anything about Brady, but Theresa argued that she'd been married to Brady. Fed up, Melanie stormed out. "I could use some fresh air myself," Theresa muttered as she headed for the door.
A frustrated Brady returned to the Kiriakis mansion, unable to stop thinking about his New Year's Eve kiss with Melanie. Maggie found Brady lost in thought and asked if he were all right. Brady insinuated that he needed a drink, but he quickly backpedaled and insisted that he'd been joking. He assured Maggie that he was heading to a meeting later. Maggie offered to listen if Brady needed to talk before then, but he maintained that he was merely feeling a little frustrated. "It's nothing," Brady added. Maggie had to leave, but on her way out the door, she noted, "Whatever it was, it wasn't 'nothing.'"
As Theresa walked through the park, she got a chill when she remembered what she thought had been a dream of someone abducting her. She jumped when she heard Maggie calling her name. Maggie asked why Theresa was so afraid. Theresa admitted that she'd had a recurring dream about walking through there, and it had made the park seem "creepy" even during the day. Before Maggie could express concern, Theresa excused herself to return to work, leaving Maggie puzzled.
The waiting room was empty when Theresa returned with Melanie's form. Annoyed, Theresa slapped it on the table and headed for the door, but she stopped when she spotted a baby's rattle on the floor. As Theresa picked it up, her brow furrowed anxiously and her hand began to shake.
Melanie arrived at the Kiriakis mansion and apologized to Brady for how she'd behaved when he'd just been trying to help. Melanie turned to leave but stopped at the door, and she and Brady said simultaneously, "I want to talk to you about something." Melanie explained that she wanted to discuss what had happened the night before, because she didn't want things between them to be "awkward and stupid." Brady acknowledged that things had been weird since they'd kissed.
Brady and Melanie agreed that they'd always been able to talk to each other about everything. "You're my best friend, and I don't...want to ruin that," Melanie stammered. Brady concurred. "Good, so then we're on the same page... so why does it feel like more?" Melanie asked. She began babbling about her reaction to Maggie's present and how it had made Brady believe she had feelings that he didn't share.
Brady tried to interrupt, but Melanie maintained, "I keep thinking if I keep talking that I'm going to make things better, but I'm not making anything better; I'm making things worse..." Finally Brady cut Melanie off by saying, "You don't get it! What I'm trying to say to you is the way I think you're feeling, I think I'm feeling the same way, too."
At Ben's apartment, Abigail kissed Ben goodbye before she left for work, and Ben headed into the bedroom. Abigail was startled when she opened the apartment door and found Clyde poised to knock. "Well, don't you look pretty as a picture this morning?" Clyde drawled. He explained that he'd just stopped by to see Ben's new place and because he knew that Ben was starting school the next day. Abigail enthused that it was all thanks to Clyde. Clyde said he was merely trying to make up for lost time and past sins, and Abigail assured him that he was off to a good start.
After Abigail left, an appreciative Clyde said to himself, "Good catch, Ben." Later, Clyde told his son that he was glad Ben had found a nice place to live and a nice girl to share it with. Ben said that he was crazy about Abigail, but he wanted to finish school and get his life together, because he wanted Abigail to know she wasn't making a mistake with him. "I think she knows she's not. She's proud of you, son, just like I am," Clyde assured Ben.
In the DiMera study, Jordan demanded to know if Chad had gotten Rafe fired. Without exactly denying it, Chad asserted that Rafe should have been fired long before then. Chad "guessed" that the cops had found out that Rafe had known what Gabi had done to Melanie since right afterward. Jordan pointed out that Chad's knowledge of that only made her wonder more who else could have gotten Rafe fired. Chad countered that Melanie, E.J., Sami, Kate, and Sonny also knew about what Gabi had done. From that list, Jordan seemed suspicious only of Kate.
"Jordan, I swear to you, I had nothing to do with what happened to Rafe," Chad declared. After a moment, Jordan said that she believed Chad. Chad wondered if Jordan still had feelings for Rafe, since she'd acted so protective. Jordan assured Chad that she and Rafe were over, but Rafe was a good guy, and she'd hated hearing that he'd been fired. Chad declared that he adored Jordan's loyalty. Jordan was worried because she'd overheard Rafe say that Chad had made things worse for himself, but Chad insisted that he had everything under control. Jordan headed out for a meeting with Abigail about their project.
A peeved Sonny called Will from outside Club TBD, but Will maintained that he was on a deadline and didn't have time to talk. When Will saw Kate arriving across Horton Square to join him, he abruptly hung up on Sonny.
Will explained to his grandmother that although it had been a violation of his confidentiality agreement, he'd wanted Kate to read his article about Paul because of her experience from her years at Titan Publishing. Kate pronounced the article very well written, elaborating that Will had really made the reader feel the level of dedication it took for Paul to play baseball then feel the loss he felt at his inability to play any longer. She reminded Will that during Paul's rookie season, she had noticed his capacity for fooling batters with his pitches through the entire season.
"That kind of deception, it takes experience. It's a terrific article, and yet, when I finished reading it, I didn't know him any better than when I started," Kate noted. Will agreed that he'd felt the same way. Kate suggested, "I think you should throw him a change-up." She wondered what Paul had to hide. Will said that Paul had left the door open for a follow-up meeting. With a sudden flash of inspiration, Will grabbed his things and left, explaining that he was going to take Kate's suggestion about the change-up.
At the hospital a little later, Kate overheard Jordan and Abigail speculating about how long it would take the board to approve their project. "What makes you think the board is ever going to approve it?" Kate asked. She explained that she had some reservations about Abigail and Jordan's "little project." Irked, Jordan pointed out that the sole purpose of the project was to help people in need. Kate countered that the anonymous donor would surely want to see that the money was spent wisely.
"They may not want people as incompetent and inexperienced as you two doing it, so we'll just have to wait and see," Kate added before heading for the elevators. While Jordan and Abigail fumed, a smug Kate murmured to herself, "I have to say, Clyde -- that was fun."
Meanwhile, Clyde and Jeremiah were meeting in the woods. Jeremiah said that he hoped the latest task he'd performed for Clyde proved that Clyde could trust him. Clyde announced that they were about to start a new venture in the trucking business, which could be very lucrative. Jeremiah worriedly pointed out that Victor Kiriakis controlled the trucking in Salem. Clyde asserted that Kiriakis had been in charge for too long and could use some competition.
While Sonny was trying to walk off his frustration, Paul exited the club. "I heard you came to see me last night at my hotel. I'm really sorry that I missed you," Paul said. Sonny explained that the bellboy had told him that Paul already had company, but Paul maintained that it had been "strictly business." Sonny was skeptical, noting that it had been very late on New Year's Eve.
Paul pointed out that when he had told Sonny that he wanted them to be together again, but openly, Sonny had turned him down -- then Sonny had turned up late at night at Paul's hotel room. "Have you changed your mind?" Paul asked. Sonny admitted that he shouldn't have gone, because nothing had changed -- but he thought it was wonderful if Paul had feelings for someone and no longer cared what other people thought. Paul asked why Sonny had gone to the hotel.
Sonny admitted, "I was going to ask you for a loan, and I shouldn't have. It wasn't fair to you, and I don't need it now." Paul appreciated Sonny's honesty, but he suspected that something else was wrong. Grasping Sonny's arm, Paul explained that he could tell because the two of them still had a connection. Sonny gently moved Paul's hand away. "If you ever change your mind," Paul said before Sonny headed inside.
Later, Ben arrived at the club for his shift and found Sonny in a grumpy mood. Chad chided Ben for leaving a table dirty, but Ben pointed out that the customer had only left to go to the restroom. "By the way, great job on not coming in here so much. You're clearly a man of your word," Ben added sarcastically. "I told you, Ben, if you have a problem with Chad being here, you can find yourself a new job," Sonny irritably reminded Ben.
Sonny quickly apologized. With a pointed look at Chad, Ben acknowledged that he shouldn't let "insignificant things" bother him. After Ben walked away, Chad asked Sonny if everything were all right. "Yeah, everything's great, thanks to you," Sonny declared. Chad said he felt bad that Sonny had used his and Will's money on the new club. "Don't be too proud, Sonny. If you need a loan, you have my number. That beautiful little girl of yours shouldn't have to want for anything in this world," Chad added. A grateful Sonny assured Chad that he and Will would be fine.
Paul was back in his hotel room when Will showed up. Will explained that he wanted to accept Paul's offer for a follow-up. He continued that Paul had specifically requested Will to write the story about him, but Paul had given a lot of evasive answers to Will's questions -- as if it were instinctive to keep people from seeing inside him. "You did, right in this room," Paul countered. Will pointed out that he'd only seen Paul's pain about being unable to continue playing baseball, but Paul had never been that open when they'd discussed people or feelings.
With a shrug, Paul maintained that he was a simple guy who'd been born with an ability to throw a baseball. Will asked, "Do you remember when I asked you if you've ever been in love? You treated it like it was a yes-or-no question." Paul countered that he believed some things were private. Will reiterated that he would not write anything that Paul didn't want in print. Paul offered to give an honest answer to whatever question Will chose. After a moment to consider, Will asked, "Do you ever get lonely?"
Paul admitted that he did feel lonely most of the time, although it hadn't always been that way. "Why would a man like you have to feel lonely?" Will asked. "What kind of man am I, Will?" Paul countered. Will replied that he thought Paul was a very complicated man -- not at all simple. Guessing that Will had even more questions, Paul encouraged Will, "Go ahead, Will. Ask the big question." With a gulp, Will finally asked, "Are you gay?" Paul asked what Will thought, and Will admitted that he believed Paul was gay.
When Daniel entered his apartment, candles were lit and fresh flowers were sitting in vases on the kitchen counter and table. A note was propped up next to the first vase -- "I'm sorry," with an arrow drawn under the words, pointing to another note propped up next to the second vase -- "Can we have a do-over? If so, please open the door..." -- and when Daniel followed the note's instructions, he found Nicole standing in the hallway.
"Thanks to me...we didn't have the wonderful New Year's that you planned, so, uh, I was hoping we could do it now...because there's no place I'd rather be than right here...with you," Nicole explained with a hopeful smile after Daniel invited her in. Nicole pointed out that she and Daniel would have privacy for a while, since Parker was in Chicago and Melanie was at work, and she asked Daniel to give her a chance to make it a special night for both of them.
Nicole and Daniel started leaning in to kiss each other, but he pulled away at the last possible second, still uncertain about moving forward with her. Nicole conceded that Daniel had every right to have reservations, but she assured him that she wasn't using him as a way of avoiding her feelings for Eric, since those had already been dealt with when she had seen Eric and Serena together on New Year's Eve. Nicole maintained that the things she had done to Serena had been done out of insecurity, and she promised that she had learned her lesson. Nicole wondered if she and Daniel could start over so he could decide for himself if she was good enough for him.
Daniel responded with a kiss, but when he pulled away, he admitted that, while there was a mutual attraction, he thought it would be best for him and Nicole to take things slowly. Nicole protested that she didn't want to do that. "When you're cautious about everything, it makes me insecure. And when I'm insecure, I start to obsess on my stupidity, which leads to more stupidity, when all I really want to do is...reconnect with you...in every way. In every way," Nicole explained as she grasped Daniel's hand and placed her other hand on his chest.
Daniel warned that, while he cared about Nicole and believed what she was telling him, there were no guarantees about how a relationship between them might work out. Nicole was willing to take that risk because she believed that, while being in a relationship with Daniel could be scary, it could also be wonderful, exciting, and fun. Daniel was afraid he and Nicole might make another mistake, but she maintained that it felt like the most right thing she had done in a really long time. Nicole stressed that she was moving on with her life -- and that she wanted to do that with Daniel. Daniel kissed Nicole again, and after giving the matter some thought, he led her to his bedroom.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady and Melanie tried to figure out how to deal with their feelings for each other, which they jointly described as complicated, unexpected, unsettling, and disorienting. Brady pointed out that there were other factors he and Melanie had to consider besides themselves, such as Maggie and Daniel's respective reactions. Brady admitted that he was also worried about hurting Melanie, since he had a habit of hurting people without meaning to do so. Melanie didn't think Brady would hurt her, and she teasingly assured him that if he did, he wouldn't have to worry about Maggie or Daniel killing him, since she would beat them to it.
Brady suggested that it would be best for him and Melanie to set a date to talk about going on a date together. "So...a definite plan...to do nothing definite?" Melanie summarized with a laugh. Melanie agreed to the idea before abruptly excusing herself so she could get back to the hospital. After an awkward silence, Melanie asked Brady if what was developing between them would ever stop being weird. Brady admitted that he had no idea. Another awkward silence followed, and Melanie eventually rushed off after shaking Brady's hand.
At the hospital, Theresa stood frozen in place, her hand shaking slightly as she stared in confusion at the baby rattle she was holding. Serena entered the break room and called out to Theresa, who didn't hear her at first. Serena finally managed to get Theresa's attention, and when she wondered if Theresa was all right, Theresa snapped that she was fine, and she demanded to know what Serena wanted.
Before Serena could respond, Eric arrived and explained that she was there to meet with him so they could go to lunch together. Eric asked Serena to give him some time alone with Theresa. After Serena left, Theresa preemptively started to blame Anne for the mix-up with Serena's office location, but she quickly realized that Eric had no idea what she was talking about. Confused, Theresa wondered why Eric had asked to talk to her privately. Eric observed that it was obvious that Theresa was upset about something, and he guessed that it had nothing to do with Serena.
"You know, I went through something that was -- where I thought something was wrong, and I didn't know what. It was rough. So I think I might understand. Listen, if you ever want to talk, just call, okay?" Eric offered. Theresa mused that Eric was a really good person, and she admitted that good people confused her. Eric stressed that he was also a good listener, and he urged Theresa to feel free to call him anytime. After Eric left, Theresa composed herself and tried to contact Melanie, but the call went to voicemail. Theresa tried to remain civil as she irritably pointed out that Melanie was late for their meeting.
Theresa later ran into Melanie at the nurses' station. Theresa complained about Melanie's tardiness, and Melanie vaguely admitted that she didn't have a good excuse for the delay. Theresa guessed that Melanie had been with Brady, and Melanie's evasion only strengthened the suspicion. Melanie insisted that she wasn't going to talk about the matter with Theresa, and she impatiently requested the insurance form Theresa had promised to find earlier. Theresa realized she had left the form in the break room, prompting Melanie to make a snide remark about Theresa's inability to handle simple tasks.
"I'm gonna go get [the form], but this time, you're gonna find me, because I am done waiting on your sorry ass," Theresa replied before walking away. In the break room, Theresa irritably grabbed the form but noticed the baby rattle before she could leave. "Why does this make me so sad? No, you know what -- I dodged a bullet with Brady, and I am so grateful for that, so... but still... it doesn't make any sense," Theresa mused as she fought back tears while staring at the item. When Melanie arrived a short time later, Theresa was clutching the baby rattle and weeping uncontrollably.
Brady met with Eric and Serena for lunch at the pub. Serena revealed that she had heard good things about Brady -- not just from Eric but also from a mutual friend, Melanie. Serena teasingly implied that Brady and Melanie were more than just friends, prompting Eric to wonder what was going on between Brady and Melanie. Brady evasively excused himself, claiming he had lost track of time. Serena pointedly suggested that it would be nice for her, Eric, Brady, and Melanie to hang out together sometime, and Brady left after promising to talk to Melanie about the idea.
Eric thought Brady had been acting weird, and Serena agreed, although she conceded that she obviously didn't know Brady very well yet. "That makes two of them," Serena mused. The statement confused Eric, so Serena explained that Theresa had been acting weird earlier, too. Serena recalled that Theresa had seemed transfixed on something before Eric had found them in the break room -- something that had looked like a baby rattle to Serena, although she knew it didn't really make sense for such an item to have an effect on Theresa.
A real estate agent showed Victor around a club, musing that it seemed perfect for Victor's needs. Victor admitted that he hadn't been expecting a place that had already been finished, and he wondered what the catch was. "There's no catch. The guy who put this all together died in a car crash, like, the day after it was finished. It's just been sitting here for the past few months. The wife was too upset to even deal with it; now she just wants it gone," the agent explained. Victor agreed that the place seemed suitable, but he vaguely revealed that it actually wasn't meant for him.
The real estate agent advised that if Victor wanted the property, it would be best to act fast. "Well, I've never had a real estate agent say that to me before," Victor sarcastically replied. The agent laughed and warned that, while Victor was the only person who knew about the place at that moment, there were plenty of other people who would jump at the chance to buy it if Victor wasn't interested. "No, I want it. Make the deal," Victor instructed the man.
At the Horton Town Square, Lucas -- who had just returned from his trip to Los Angeles -- caught Rafe up on how Sami and the kids were doing. Lucas reported that he and Sami had done their best to give the kids a good Christmas. Johnny had acted guilty while opening gifts on Christmas Day, and Lucas mused that the boy seemed to be the one E.J.'s death had most affected.
Lucas suggested that Rafe could hook Johnny up with some Salem Police Department gear, since the boy had once again outgrown his beloved FBI jacket. Rafe sadly revealed that he had been fired, but he wasn't able to give many details due to the deal he had signed, so Lucas didn't really understand why it had happened. Rafe admitted he was thinking about leaving Salem -- perhaps for Chicago, since he didn't want to move too far away from Gabi. Lucas pointed out that Chicago was in the opposite direction from the prison, and Rafe conceded that he would see Gabi less often if he made such a move.
Lucas wished Rafe luck with whatever Rafe decided to do next. After Lucas left, Victor approached and wondered who had sent the anonymous letter that had ended Rafe's career. Rafe was surprised that Victor still had a need for moles in the Salem Police Department. Victor noncommittally replied that he simply liked to keep his ear to the ground for the purpose of protecting his family and friends.
Rafe claimed he didn't know who had sent the letter, but Victor guessed that Rafe had a theory. "Wild guess -- it was a DiMera," Victor speculated, but Rafe wasn't interested in talking about the matter. "All right, new subject. You're out of work. Come work for me. ... I need somebody to coordinate security on my holdings," Victor suggested. Rafe pointed out that Victor already had people overseeing security at every company Titan owned, but Victor explained that he needed someone to keep an eye on those individuals because he didn't trust many people -- with Rafe being a notable exception.
Rafe appreciated the offer but wasn't sure he wanted to get into that line of work -- and he also suspected that Victor was just making up a job for him. Knowing that Rafe couldn't work as a private investigator, Victor pointedly wondered what else Rafe was considering doing with the rest of his life. Impressed, Rafe mused that Victor really did have good sources. "And I have good people working for me. I want you to be one of them. Think about it," Victor advised before walking away.
When Sonny and Adrienne entered his and Will's apartment, she found a note from Arianna's babysitter, explaining that they had gone for a walk in the park. Adrienne feared that it might be too cold outside for Arianna, but Sonny was sure the babysitter was taking good care of his daughter. Sonny started retrieving boxes from cabinets and drawers as Adrienne removed her coat.
Adrienne apologized for dragging Sonny away from work, but he assured her it wasn't a big deal. Adrienne admitted that completing the scrapbook she had been working on had turned out to be harder than she had originally anticipated. Sonny pointed out that it wasn't like Adrienne had a deadline to adhere to, prompting her to muse that she had expected Will to be working from home. "Not today," Sonny replied with a sigh. Sonny explained that Will was finishing up the interview process with the subject of a secretive new Sonix cover story Sonny knew very little about.
Sonny and Adrienne sat next to each other on the couch and started going through old pictures and mementos he had kept that might be worth including in her scrapbook. Sonny paused when he found a baseball in one of the boxes, and Adrienne curiously asked about the item. Sonny claimed it was nothing, but Adrienne could tell he was lying, since the baseball had a sticker on it. Sonny explained that the sticker meant the baseball had been certified.
Sonny confirmed Adrienne's suspicion that Paul had given him the item. Adrienne wondered what Sonny would have said to Will if Will had found and asked about the baseball. "One, Will won't find it, and two, if he did, I would tell him the truth -- that I had forgotten about it and put it in a box with old stuff," Sonny replied with a shrug. Adrienne clarified that Sonny had placed the baseball in a box of old stuff that really meant something to him.
"Okay, yeah. Paul gave it to me when we were together. It's pretty special. ... Paul is a pitcher; they're notoriously bad hitters. When they're at the plate, no one expects them to do anything. But this one time -- just once -- [Paul] knocked it out of the park. And then a security guard went and grabbed it from the fan who caught it. They brought it to the dugout...and certified it," Sonny explained.
Adrienne thought it was sweet that Paul had given the baseball to Sonny. "But...all things considered...shouldn't you send it back to him? I mean, don't you think he'd want it back? It would mean so much more to him than it does to you, yes?" Adrienne reasoned. Sonny smiled and shook his head, jokingly admitting that he hated it when Adrienne was right.
Later, Lucas arrived to see Arianna. Sonny explained that Arianna was in the park with her babysitter but would probably be home soon for lunch. Lucas wanted to wait for Arianna to return, so Sonny decided to take the opportunity to run an errand. Sonny grabbed Paul's baseball before exiting the apartment. "There's no time like the present. May as well give it to him in person," Sonny muttered as he tucked the item in his coat pocket.
Adrienne had also decided to stick around, and she explained to Lucas that she had started working on a family scrapbook after Justin had been unable to make it back to Salem for the holidays. Adrienne admitted that she wasn't sure when Justin would be returning from Dubai. Lucas wondered if Christmas had been rough for Adrienne, who speculated that it had probably been much harder on Justin, since she at least had family and friends to spend the holidays with in Salem. Adrienne guessed that Lucas had probably gotten pretty lonely at times when he had lived in Hong Kong.
"No, actually, um, I met somebody, so it was kind of nice. It was pretty serious, but... of course, it ended, obviously. ... I did like it, though. I liked being there. It was fun, you know? I missed the kids a lot, but...I don't know, there's just something about being in a hotel, you know, and everybody else is away from home, too, and you just kind of make connections with people. It's nice," Lucas replied.
Lucas realized -- too late -- that what he was saying was upsetting Adrienne. "But Justin isn't doing that. Probably. I'm sure. He's just, you know... Adrienne, look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that," Lucas feebly clarified as Adrienne's lower lip started quivering. Adrienne fought back tears as she assured Lucas that it wasn't his fault she had gotten upset.
Adrienne admitted that the past few times she had spoken to Justin, she had gotten the impression that something had changed. With a sigh, Adrienne added that Justin had been gone for such a long time that she was starting to feel like they were drifting apart again. Lucas suggested that Justin might just be working hard and trying not to let anyone know just how badly he wanted to return home, but Adrienne wasn't convinced. "When you're married to someone, you know. You just know," Adrienne sadly reasoned.
In Paul's hotel room, after Will admitted that he thought Paul was gay, Paul wondered if Will was gay. Will confirmed that he was, and in response, Paul kissed him. "This...shouldn't happen," Will breathlessly protested as he pulled away from Paul. Undeterred, Paul passionately kissed Will again. "Tell me you don't want this to happen," Paul dared Will afterward.
"No, it's -- it's not that I don't want it to happen," Will hesitantly began as Paul stared at him intently. Satisfied, Paul interrupted and said that was all he needed to hear. Paul started kissing Will again as he turned Will toward the bed and climbed on top of him. After having sex, Will and Paul breathlessly separated from each other, and Paul wondered if Will was okay. Will confirmed that he was, and he started to say something else, but Paul interrupted and guessed that Will felt guilty. "I know why," Paul admitted.
"You know?" Will asked as he looked at Paul in confusion. Paul explained that he knew Will was an amazing writer, since he had not only read Will's article about Chad but had also read the previous one Will had written about Sami and E.J. Paul guessed that it had probably been difficult for Will to be that objective about loved ones. Paul could tell Will felt it was important to be an objective journalist. Paul said he understood how it felt to be that passionate about a job. Stroking Will's chest, Paul mused that he had given up a lot of things for baseball -- including his freedom to be with another man.
"You feel guilty, don't you? Because you feel like what you just did makes you less professional," Paul concluded. Will confirmed that Paul was right -- what they had just done had definitely not been objective. Paul smiled and urged Will not to worry, stressing that he was sure Will was going to write a great article about him. "Without writing everything I know about you?" Will wondered.
Paul grasped Will's hand and stressed that he knew he could trust Will. "Yes, you can. I won't out you. I wouldn't out anybody -- ever," Will confirmed. Paul sighed as he suddenly realized that, while he had always told himself he couldn't let anyone know he was gay because doing so would jeopardize his career, he no longer had a career -- and yet he still found himself thinking that no one could know the truth about his sexuality.
"Maybe...maybe it's time," Will gently suggested as he placed a hand on Paul's chest, but Paul still wasn't sure. Paul guessed that the truth about his sexuality was something Will wanted to include in the article. Will promised that he would only write about it with Paul's approval. Paul wondered if Will had slept with him to get the scoop, and Will swore he hadn't. "Then prove it," Paul requested as he leaned in to kiss Will again.
As Will and Paul started rolling around in the bed again, Sonny approached the entrance to Paul's hotel room.
At the Brady Pub, Eric told Serena that he didn't know why Theresa would have had a baby rattle, except that she worked at the hospital. Changing the subject, Serena reminded Eric of an IOU he'd given her years earlier. She produced a slip of paper that she'd found when she'd been packing to return to the States that proved Eric had lost a bet to her. Eric grabbed the scrap of paper and saw his handwriting: "Serena Mason, I.O.U. any photograph of your choice that was taken by me." Beneath that was his signature.
Soon Eric and Serena had arrived at his apartment, and she was looking at some of the items he'd collected in Africa. She asked what had happened to the rest of his things from Africa. Pointing to his open laptop, Eric reminded Serena that they were there so she could look at his photos. Serena closed the laptop and set it aside, purring that she had really just wanted them to be alone. She kissed Eric, and as their kisses grew more passionate, she began to unbutton his shirt.
Eric stopped Serena and told her, "I'm sorry. I can't do this." Serena asked gently if Eric were truly over Nicole, as he'd claimed. "Yes, I'm completely over Nicole," Eric earnestly assured Serena. Serena grabbed the laptop again and quickly perused Eric's pictures until she settled on one of a king vulture. Eric's surprise at her choice grew when she demanded that he frame the photo -- her way of collecting interest for making her wait so long to pay his IOU. Chuckling, he shook Serena's hand to seal the deal.
Alone in the apartment later, Eric recalled being in bed with Serena in Africa before he'd had to leave for the savanna. Serena had urged him to be careful because she loved him. He'd promised her that he would be careful. Eric realized how much he had changed since that time, while Serena was still the same.
Back in her hotel room, Serena unlocked the safe and took out a large envelope. She slid a sheaf of papers out of the envelope and told herself, "You cannot blow this."
In Paul's hotel room, Will and Paul were about to have sex again when there was a knock at the door as Sonny arrived to return Paul's baseball. "Whoever it is, they'll go away," Paul whispered then resumed kissing Will. The knocking continued, but the guys ignored it. After a few minutes, Will said that he had to leave. "This can't happen again," Will added. Paul asked why they couldn't see each other. "For a lot of reasons," was all Will would say. When pushed, he said, "It's complicated." Paul didn't understand what the problem was if they enjoyed one another's company.
Derrick passed by Paul's room and asked if he could help Sonny. Holding up the baseball, Sonny explained that he needed to leave it for Paul, but Paul wasn't there. Derrick offered to give the ball to Paul, but Sonny declined and asked if Derrick would let him into the room. Derrick agreed but explained that he would have to stay with Sonny. Derrick tapped on the door and didn't wait long for an answer before he used his key to enter the room.
Sonny and Derrick walked in on a startled and angry Paul pulling on his robe. They could hear the shower running in the bathroom. Derrick apologized, but Sonny took the blame for assuming that Paul wasn't there. Still thrown, Paul said that he was just about to take a shower. Meanwhile, an unhappy-looking Will was dunking his head under the shower spray as if to try to wash away his guilt.
After Derrick left, Sonny explained that he'd found Paul's home-run ball in some boxes and had wanted to return it. Paul said, "Sonny, I wanted you to have this. I thought about it again this Christmas, how happy you were when I gave it to you. It just means so much to me, knowing that you have a part of me." He tenderly placed the ball back in Sonny's hand. As he hustled Sonny toward the door, Paul repeated that he had to get in the shower because he was running late. Just then, the shower turned off, and Sonny's smile fell a little as he turned and left.
When Will exited the bathroom, he asked Paul if someone had been there. Sensing the change in Paul's mood, Will explained that he was only leaving because he had things to do. Paul noted sarcastically, "Understood. You have a life." Will pointed out that everyone did, including Paul. Paul wasn't so sure about his anymore, because pitching had been his life. He admitted that he was afraid because he didn't know what his future held.
Will pointed out that Paul was a hero to a lot of people -- and Will thought it was very important for people to realize that some of the heroes they respected and idolized were also gay. "Paul, you have a chance to make a huge impact on a lot of people's lives. Just think about it, okay?" Will suggested before walking out.
In the hallway, as Will fished his wedding ring out of his pocket with shaking hands, he wondered to himself, "What have I done?" After Will left, Derrick appeared and suspiciously watched Will walked away.
At Will and Sonny's, Lucas made a cup of tea for Adrienne, who admitted that talking to him had helped her feel better. Lucas joked that he was just like "an old shoe" to women, but Adrienne clarified that he had always been very honest with her -- and sensitive. Adrienne laughed when Lucas asked her to tell his many ex-wives that he was sensitive. She said that she was just grateful to Lucas for listening and making her laugh.
When Sonny returned to the apartment, he was surprised that Will hadn't gotten back yet. After Lucas had gone, Sonny told his mom that Paul had wanted him to keep the baseball. Adrienne seemed concerned that Sonny had been to see Paul, but Sonny reassured her that Paul had definitely moved on.
Maggie found Brady working at his laptop in the Kiriakis living room and observed that he seemed to be feeling better than he had been earlier. Suppressing a grin, Brady admitted that he was feeling better. He assured Maggie that he was facing his feelings and making realistic decisions about his life instead of waiting around for things to happen to him. Pleased, Maggie noted that it sounded as if Brady were ready for something new.
Maggie cautioned Brady that for addicts like the two of them, even good changes could be hard to handle. "So don't do anything rash, okay? Slow and steady, okay?" Maggie added before leaving the room. Brady told himself, "You've only been sober a couple of months, Brady. Maybe you should slow the hell down. A person like you, is that even fair to Melanie?" He decided he needed to talk to Melanie -- but in person, not on the phone, so he headed out.
Melanie paused in the doorway of the waiting area when she spotted Theresa sitting alone, sobbing and holding a baby rattle. Feeling eyes on her, Theresa got up, put down the rattle, and produced the form Melanie needed. Melanie took the paper and asked gently, "Theresa, why are you crying?" She asked if the rattle were Theresa's. Unable to stop the tears, Theresa angrily insisted that "some idiot mother" had left the rattle, and Theresa was merely worried the mother didn't care that the baby needed its rattle.
"Theresa, did you have a child?" Melanie inquired quietly. "Where the hell do you get off, asking me a question like that?" Theresa snapped. She declared that Melanie's sympathy was fake, just like Daniel's -- and Melanie hadn't even said "thank you" for the form. As Theresa stormed out, Melanie acknowledged that Theresa was right and tried to thank her, but Theresa was already far down the corridor. Melanie picked up the rattle and examined it sadly.
Brady went to the hospital a little later to look for Melanie. While a staffer went to find out if Melanie was around, Theresa showed up. She reminded Brady that he'd told her he didn't want to see her anymore, yet he was always hanging around the hospital. Theresa suggested that Brady should see his friend Melanie somewhere else. Brady agreed that Theresa had a good point -- and he thanked her for reminding him just how toxic she was.
Theresa didn't think she deserved that remark. Brady reminded her that she had nearly killed his father and let Brady think he'd done it then she'd faked a pregnancy. He continued that, while he accepted full responsibility for his own addictions, Theresa had consistently encouraged his use of alcohol and drugs. Brady declared that he was very grateful to be done with Theresa. Theresa noted snidely that Melanie would be much better for Brady than Theresa had been.
"That beanpole with the fake red hair was acting all weird about you earlier, so what's going on between you two? Are you an item now?" Theresa asked. Brady pointed out that he and Melanie were good friends -- something he and Theresa had never been. "I mean, sure, we partied and we boozed it up and had a great time, but it was never really out of friendship or caring about one another," Brady noted. "Speak for yourself," Theresa said.
Brady remarked that it was good that Theresa really hadn't really been pregnant, because they never would have been able to handle it. Stung, Theresa retorted, "You mean I wouldn't be able to handle it. Because I'm trash, right? And, oh yeah, I have no feelings." Brady said sadly that he didn't think Theresa knew how to love.
Melanie was contemplating the rattle in Horton Square when Maggie greeted her with a hug. Maggie asked how her granddaughter was. Although she initially lied that everything was great, Melanie admitted, "I was just thinking about the baby that Philip and I lost." Maggie was puzzled about why Melanie would suddenly remember that. Melanie explained that she'd found the rattle at the hospital, and she suspected that it had triggered something.
Melanie added with wonder that if she hadn't miscarried, the baby would be almost Parker's age -- but she knew that the baby, like her relationship with Philip, hadn't been meant to be. She mused that if a woman had found something like the rattle, it might remind her of what she'd lost. Maggie wondered aloud if Melanie were talking about herself or someone else. Before Melanie could respond, Maggie had to leave because Victor was taking her to the ice-skating championships in Chicago. Melanie assured her grandmother that she was really all right and not dwelling on the past, so Maggie hurried away.
In Daniel's bedroom, Nicole encouraged Daniel with one word: "Yes." Later, while the two were catching their breath after having sex, Nicole promised that she would never hurt Daniel again. Daniel vowed, "I won't let you." Wrapping Nicole tightly in his arms, Daniel declared that he had accepted who Nicole was and wouldn't try to fix her or rescue her, and Nicole's feelings for him would not define him. He emphasized that there could not be any lies between them -- both of them had to be totally honest, every step of the way.
Daniel clarified that the relationship would be over if he discovered that Nicole wasn't really over Eric. Nicole agreed that it was important for them to be honest with one another. Since Melanie was likely on her way home from work, Nicole started to get out of bed and get dressed. Daniel said that he hadn't broken the news to anyone that they were seeing each other, so he hoped Nicole could keep it to herself for a little while -- but he hinted that he might ask her out on a date later.
Daniel was dressed and Nicole had gone when Melanie returned to the apartment. After reassuring Melanie that she could continue to stay there as long as she wanted, Daniel informed his daughter that he was seeing Nicole. Although the news didn't please Melanie, she conceded, "Okay, fine, then everybody gets to make their own decision when it comes to relationships. You get to choose what makes you happy and what you think is right. Obviously. Just remember that, you know, if it ever comes up with me."
Daniel concurred. Melanie stressed, "If [Nicole] makes you happy, good. I hope she does. But from my experience, she's never been able to do that with any man."
Nicole got a phone call at her office from a man who had a scoop specifically for her, but he wanted to remain anonymous, although he did share his phone number with Nicole. While a bored Nicole coiled the phone cord around and around her finger, the man explained that he had dirt on a beautiful woman who'd just arrived in Salem, who everyone thought was "amazing" -- but the woman was a "total liar."
"Okay, well, I've never done a story about a liar before. My ratings should go through the roof," Nicole remarked, disinterested. The man assured Nicole that what he had to tell her would blow her away. Nicole got out a pen and asked for the beautiful, amazing, lying woman's name. "Serena Mason," the man replied.